The Big 12 just officially added TCU as its' 10th member of the conference and they'll join the league for the 2012-2013 school year. While it's a great thing for TCU, and the pairing with the Big 12 conference makes all the sense in the world from both parties, you have to wonder if 'money' is now the only driving factor with these realignment discussions.
Boston College athletic director didn't do much to disuade that perception when he recently said that ESPN played a role in their expansion decisions. via boston.com
"We always keep our television partners close to us,’’ he said. "You don’t get extra money for basketball. It’s 85 percent football money. TV - ESPN - is the one who told us what to do. This was football; it had nothing to do with basketball.’’
We can hope that the qoute was taken a little bit of of context but there is still the perception out there right now that the almighty dollar is the one and only factor in determining this volcanic shift in college athletics. The television contracts are the big piece of the pie and everyone is searching for the biggest piece they can find right now.
For the Big 12 it started with Nebraska hopping over to the Big 10, and Colorado heading to the Pac 12. Nebraska is reportedly going to receive twice as much money in the Big 10 as they were receiving in the Big 12. Another huge development in the future of the Big 12 was Texas' TV deal with ESPN. The deal became a huge factor for the stability of the Longhorn television network and for the University of Texas as a whole.
But when cries of unfairness came raining down from other Big 12 schools, and rightfully so, it was because of what? You guessed it. Money.
Obviously money should play a big role but it just seems to be the only factor right now. You would think that the voice of reason in all of this should be the NCAA, which is actually the principal in all of this. But aren't they the organization that let Terrell Pryor play in the Sugar Bowl after announcing that he was going to be suspended for the following season? Yes. But it was justified because he played a hell of a game and was the MVP, which in turn, raised the TV ratings and helped everyone make a lot of money.
Well, everyone except the players did.